Installation of Lewis’s wind turbines starts

The first community-owned wind turbines in the Western Isles will be installed and connected to the grid by next month.

Wind energy generated will be sold into the National Grid through the Feed-in Tariff scheme, and will provide around £80,000 a year for the local community, which consists of 70 households on the west side of Lewis.

The huge components arrived by lorry to the village of Siabost on the western side of the island, where it will be installed on common grazing croft land. The neighbouring communities of South Siabost, Dalmore and Dalbeg will all benefit.

Almost 10 years ago, a private developer approached them, seeking to build a wind farm on their grazing ground. Negotiations with the developer failed, but with support and funding from Community Energy Scotland, the community took on the £2 million project themselves.

The project created its first job in January of this year, with the trust appointing Angela Macleod as development officer to ensure the funds generated by the turbine are distributed as identified by the local community.

Speaking this week, Ms Macleod said: It is all systems go now. Foundations works are complete on site and we have the road access established.

The site has one of the best possible wind resources in the UK and will help fund our community needs to improve life here for the next generation and hopefully reduce depopulation.